I did something yesterday I should have done a long time ago. I attended my local branch meeting of the SCBWI and loved it. As a proud member of this organization and faithful conference attendee, I had chickened out from attending the monthly meetings, concerned I wouldn't know anyone. Being shy, shedding my cocoon hasn't been easy but after five years of going to events like Rutger's One-on-One Conference, Falling Leaves Writers Retreat, Writing the YA Novel workshop with Kelly Going at Merritt Books, and the fabulous Unicorn Writers' Conference, meeting and talking to others has become easier. Why? Because these people are my peers and we all share common goals: to become better writers and reach that all-important goal of becoming a published author.
Yesterday's meeting, called Hudson Valley Shop Talk, coordinated by Kimberly Sabatini (author of the upcoming YA novel, Touching the Surface) and Linda Hanlon was everything I hoped it would be and a lot more. We talked about the chosen books of the month, other books and authors, upcoming SCBWI events, critiqued the opening of a writer's dystopian, and listened to Kim's journey as she chose an agent. Enlightening, humorous, candid and real, I felt happy and proud to be a part of this great community. I can't make this month's meeting since I'll be at Unicorn, but I will be attending June's meeting and many others. Thanks to my friend and writing buddy, Sandy, for going with me.
Writing may be a solitary job but there is more to it than sitting in front of a laptop. This month I will go to READ LOCAL Red Hook, an all day Literary Festival, and I will also be at my first Hudson Valley YA Society event with Jaclyn Dolamore and Michelle Zink at Oblong Books. Shedding those walls has never felt easier.